Soulja Boy needs no introduction. Exploding onto the scene with viral smashes “Crank That” and “Kiss Me Thru The Phone,” the Chicago-born, Atlanta-raised native has been the superstar he is for decades on end…and he just did it again with his newest single “She Make It Clap.” The song itself exploded on TikTok with over 2.2 million videos made to date, even going #1 on the Billboard Triller charts.
Baller Alert was present for his “She Make It Clap” video shoot in the hills of Los Angeles, a full-blown movie as expected from Big Draco. His mom literally FaceTimed him before we sat down, saying “I love you Dre” as he responded, “I love you too mama.” The success of “She Make It Clap” came all independent, no label, as Soulja describes his newest partnership with Virgin Music.
Read below as we discuss the success of “She Make It Clip” (which he gives to TikTok), 7 labels trying to sign him (including Def Jam), Google and Nintendo wanting to buy his video game consoles, why he’s the one who influenced everyone to wear Bape, inventing FaceTime, why he’s not worried about features, and more!
How are you feeling?
I’m feeling good, just been working.[embedyt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyqvYZcVS_w[/embedyt]
“Make It Clap” going #1 on TikTok, how does that feel?
It feels good. We just went #1 right now, Triller charts. Shout out Triller. We gon’ keep it going, keep working.
Did you make this record knowing it’d be another Soulja Boy hit for generations to come?
Yeah. [laughs] When I played it, I was like “ouuu. This is one of them ones.”
What was the energy when you made it?
I just made the song a month ago. It ain’t even been a month. I recorded it and dropped it the same day instantly. A month ago, I was in the studio cooling. I have a show on Twitch called Soulja Boy TV where I stream my little Grand Theft Auto server. I got a studio in there called Soulja World. I’m in the studio freestyling, I’m like “yo I need to turn this into a real song.” I dropped at the same night, it’s been up ever since.
Was there a certain female that inspired it?
I mean, she make it clap. She really make it clap though. [laughs]
How much of a role does TikTok play in the success of this song?
A lot. I think… nah, I’ma just give it all to TikTok. It was all TikTok fasho.
What’s the best TikTok you’ve seen? I saw Mulatto did it.
Shout out to Mulatto going crazy, #SheMakeItClapChallenge. There were so many to pick from, it was hard. At first I was doing a contest, I was going pick the winner but then it went too viral. I’m still choosing, there’s new videos coming in every day. We’re at 2.2 million videos on TikTok right now, to the song. No label, independent. I just got signed a week ago.
To Virgin right?
To Virgin, but I did a partnership so I’m bossed up. I’ve been bossed up, but now it’s next level. Shout out to the whole Virgin Music staff, I appreciate y’all. I had 7 labels trying to sign me. For real, I can pull out the contracts. Def Jam, a whole bunch of labels.
What made you go with Virgin?
The team, their whole staff was amazing. When I met them, I felt like they could accomplish what I was trying to make happen with the song. And they gave me the best deal, the biggest deal. It was the best deal of all time! The biggest deal of my career. It made me a boss, I have my own label SODMG records. We partnered with Virgin music, it’s major. I own my masters and all of that. Yessirski, Big Draco. I don’t play with that.
How many streams of income do you have?
I got the Soulja Boy game console, go follow @souljaboygame on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok. The handheld console just came out, I launched it a week ago. This actually took me 3 years to do. I tried to come the first time, but we had problems with Nintendo. The new console I launched, we’re already highly evaluated. Google and Nintendo are reaching out to us, they’re trying to buy our company already. I just launched it, it hasn’t even been a year.
Do you have a business partner? Or do you handle all of this yourself?
I ain’t gon’ lie, it’s really me. 100%, Big Draco. SODMG Records. When it comes to my different businesses I got, I have teams and staff. With the Soulja Boy game console, it’s a whole board. It’s not just me, but we’re going big time. I have a special surprise coming real soon. I’m putting up a billboard in Times Square in New York on Friday.
You going out there?
Yeah, we going out to New York. I love LA though.
“I Got Me Some Bathin’ Apes” was a moment in time. What was Soulja like then?
Just like he is now. Motivated, focused, talented, bossed up, hard worker, smart, fresh, fly, drippy, trendsetter, viral. The same Draco, just big Draco now.
You started the Bape trend you said?
I made everyone want to wear Bape. My first album I made, I made a song called “I Got Me Some Bathin’ Apes.” And my first album went Platinum. Look at my boy’s shoes right there [points to friend], you see the influence. We not playing about this Bape shit.
How much were you dropping on Bape back then?
I was getting $25,000 a day off of SoundClick when I was 16. I was spending $700, thousands of dollars on Bapes. I had all of the Bapes. When I was coming to school, n*ggas were roasting me like “bruh, what the hell is them shoes? Those are some fake ass Air Force Ones.” So that’s how I know I made n*ggas wear Bape! N*ggas were roasting and clowning me, it wasn’t cool to wear Bape. How it is now, it’s cool to wear it. Because I made it cool to wear it! In the “Crank That” video, I have Bapes on. That shit has half a billion views on YouTube. How I influence nodobdy? N*ggas steady be playing on my name man. Yo, I made n*ggas want to wear Bape period.
You also invented FaceTime right?
Now look, they say that but this is what happened. I shot the Kiss Me Thru The Phone video with this director right here (@reelsrage). Before FaceTime was invented, we had the iPhone in there acting like it was FaceTime with the green screen effects! That was before FaceTime came out, so who knows? Steve Jobs (rest in peace) or Apple could’ve seen that, and implemented it with the money and technology that they have. We don’t know, that’s why they say I invented FaceTime.
Director: He was on set saying “let me talk to the phone like this.” He literally came up with the idea on the set.
What can we expect from the “She Make It Clap” video?
It’s gonna go viral. A lot of TikTok. A lot of dancing, a lot of bad girls. A lot of making it clap clap clap.
Have you been able to celebrate the record at a strip club?
We’ve turned the video shoot to a strip club, no cap. All of these girls are going viral. Big Draco!
What’s your relationship with NLE Choppa?
I love NLE Choppa. I don’t really know him like that, but we started getting cool. He shouted me out, big shout out to NLE Choppa. Now we’re working, we have music on the way. I’ve always been a fan of him. I always liked his music: “Shotta Flows,” all them shits are hard. He did the independent thing, now he’s doing his thing. He’s a real one for doing that, a lot of people don’t like to do that. That showed his character, what type of person he is for him to say that.
Do you care about the haters at this point?
Nah, not anymore. At first I did, ain’t gon’ cap. At first, “man, what the fuck? These n*ggas, ah ah ah.” Now, shit who gives a fuck about none of that! I don’t care about what nobody talking about, we up. Sheeesh.
What motivates you?
Draco, that shit motives me. What motivates me is accomplishing my dreams. I motivate me, this is what I want. The stuff I got, I wanted that. The toy that I have right here, I wanted this. Who wouldn’t want to have a toy of themselves? That’s something I wanted when I was a little kid growing up. I used to see Spiderman, Jason, Superman, Incredible Hulk. Shit, I’m a superstar. I’m Soulja Boy, I can’t have a toy? The toy, the video game, a lot of stuff is motivation. There’s a lot of stuff I want to do.
What else do you want to do?
I want to come out with a video game. I already have one on the iPhone called Fighting Soulja, but I’m trying to come out with a big one for PC, Xbox PlayStation 5. I’m finna come out with an exclusive video game on my console, this shit about to be big. This shit got so colossal, I’m thinking about games for my consoles exclusive. Working with developers and having them build an exclusive game just for my consoles, that’s the type of shit I’m on. PlayStation is going to have to come and be like “can we get your game?” Nah. You only can play Halo on Xbox, they don’t have it on PlayStation. You can only play Got of War on PlayStation, you can’t play it on Xbox. You know what, you can only play these new rap fighting games with all the new rappers in it only on Soulja console.
Does weed help your creativity? You get all these ideas?
I’ve been creative before weed. I’ve never liked weed. As a youngsta, I hated weed. Motherfuckers smoking weed and I’d smell it, I used to hate that shit. But as I got older, working hard, going through life and grinding so hard, you have to have something that will relax you. Once they made it legal, that was even better. It’s on every strip in California. To answer your question, it helped me to relax so I can be creative. I got the ideas.
The new album, what can we expect?
I don’t know, I’m just worried about making hits. I’m just doing hits. I’m definitely going to drop my album this summer. I have a crazy phenomenal project. Now, it’s working out features because I don’t really do features with anybody. All of my songs are by myself.
On purpose? I imagine they have bags for Soulja Boy features.
They have bags, it just be picking and choosing on who you really want to put your creativity with, align your brand and shit. You gotta be organic. The money is cool, but I have to be able to relate to the artist. That’s all it is right now, working out the features. Once we get all of the features out the way we can drop it.
Who have you been collabing with?
It’s top secret, shhhh.
Are you picky?
I’m willing to work with anybody, I ain’t trippin’.
What does it mean to be a black man in America today?
That’s deep. I can’t answer that question for every black man, so I can’t answer that question. For me in the position that I am, it’s tough. You know? Look how hard I had to work to get where I’m at now. The last 10 years, this shit didn’t come overnight. It didn’t come easy. It’s tough, but we’re making progress and we gon’ make change pretty soon.
Anything else you’d like to let the people know?
I love y’all. Thank y’all for making “She Make It Clap” go #1 on TikTok. Thank y’all for making “She Make It Clap” go #1 on Billboard Triller charts. We’re on set of the video, stay tuned it’s finna drop. Make sure y’all catch It. Thanks for the gas, thank you for the interview. Thanks for the love. SODMG, stacks on deck.